Kanshudo Component Builder
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Draw a component:
Type a component or its name:
 
Choose from a list:
Change component list
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By default the Component Builder shows the most common Joyo kanji components (ie, components which are themselves Joyo kanji, or which are used in at least 3 other Joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.



For details of all components and their English names, see the Component collections.
Kanshudo Component Builder Help
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For detailed instructions, see the Component builder how to guide.
To find any kanji, first try to identify the components it is made up of. Once you have identified any component, search for it in any of three ways:
  1. Draw it in the drawing area
  2. Type the name in the text area
  3. Look for it in the list
Example: look up 漢
  • Notice that 漢 is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫
  • Draw any of these components (one at a time) in the drawing area, and select it when you see it
  • Alternatively, look for a component in the list. 氵 艹 口 each have three strokes; 夫 has four strokes
  • If you know the meanings of the components, type any of them in the text area: water (氵), grass (艹), mouth (口) or husband (夫)
  • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.
Kanshudo Component Builder Drawing Help
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The Kanshudo Component Builder can recognize any of the 416 components listed in the chart below the drawing area. Tips:
  • Draw a component in the center of the area, as large as you can
  • Try to draw the component as it appears in the kanji you're looking up
  • Don't worry about stroke order or number of strokes
  • Don't draw more than one component at a time
Not finding your component?
If you believe you've drawn your component correctly but the system is not recognizing it, please:
Let us know!

The Joy o' Kanji Essays

Welcome to Joy o’ Kanji, which will enable you to discover the joy of kanji! Below you’ll find introductions to detailed essays covering every aspect of each Jōyō kanji. Through loads of sample sentences and images containing the character in question, the essays give you the real-world experience you need so you can master kanji. You can download the essays in PDF form. After reading them, you can play games and use flashcards to work with the vocabulary and sentences from the essay.
If a Joy o' Kanji essay is available for a kanji, you will see this badge next to it in search results.
You can also find all kanji with essays available using the special search keyword jokessay:true, and if you know the Joy o' Kanji ID (the number under the kanji in the display below), you can use the special keyword jok:1009.
These essays come from our partner, Joy o' Kanji.
More info about Joy o' Kanji
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chrysanthemum
JOK: 1141
Chrysanthemums are all-important in Japan. The imperial chrysanthemum seal pops up on coins, passports, and battleships. People eat these flowers, drink them, and dress dolls with them. There are mum festivals and a chrysanthemum month. We find 菊 in the names of movies, animals, and a stone. It has worked its way into folklore and is even in slang for a body part!
cram
JOK: 1144
The kanji 詰 shows up in word after word about feeling stuck, being at a loss, arriving at a dead end, giving someone little space (emotionally speaking), and packing people into a tight place. Learn how to talk about being "jam-packed" (think of a Tokyo subway at rush hour), feeling "ill at ease," and being "at a loss for words."
twist
JOK: 1151
Bringing together strands of yarn seems harmless, but with 糾 this act can be menacing. Once just a depiction of twisting strands into a rope, 糾 now also involves criminal investigations, interrogations, and denunciations. The essay explores all that and touches on a dam in the works since 1947, a government policy of abandoning those in need, and communist influence on Japan.
refuse
JOK: 1154
Sometimes you just have to say no. With 拒 you can turn down requests and offers (e.g., marriage proposals), refuse to pay or to take money, reject advice, and refuse to go places. You can also use 拒 to say, "I refuse to answer the question," "The government refuses to bow to public pressure," “They denied asylum to refugees,” and "She automatically dismisses talk of the supernatural."
void
JOK: 1156
In 虚 we find a hollow space, though it's often filled with lies. As such, it pops up in words about bluffs, false fronts, and vanity, as well as emptiness, both emotional and physical. When an effort is in vain, leading to nothing, 虚 again enables us to express that. Learn about its surprising relationship to 実. Also find out why you should never choose a spouse who has a 虚業!
situation
JOK: 1163
Do you know how to say, “I don’t like grilled fish, let alone raw fish,” “The market deteriorated, so our inventory piled up,” or “Please let me know the status”? Through this essay you’ll learn all that, plus ways of talking about the business climate, booms and busts, live broadcasts, events packed with people, and more. Also find out how a term for “urgent state of affairs” connects to sumo.
gorge
JOK: 1164
In a nation of islands separated by straits that can be dangerously rough, geography is a vivid reality. The most common 峡 word by far is 海峡 (strait), so this photo-studded essay mainly looks at significant Japanese straits and at the bridges, whirlpools, and important events associated with them. You will emerge from this essay with a much sharper sense of Japanese geography!
put between
JOK: 1165
Find out why several places are called Fusabami, what it means to "discuss something across a table," and what to call attacks from two sides. Learn how one powerful verb can refer to sandwiching something or to filling that sandwich. Discover ways to talk about fingers slammed in doors, houses facing each other, hearsay, interruptions, and meddling (or "sticking your beak in"!).
narrow
JOK: 1166
The word 'narrow' makes me think of 'skinny,' as in the delightfully named diet book Skinny Bitch. But skinny isn't what you'll find with 狭, even though it means 'narrow.' The Japanese associate 狭 with crowdedness. Learn various words for cramped spaces, from a tiny apartment to a clogged artery. We'll even cover narrow-mindedness and narrow interpretations of words. You'll get the skinny on all of it!
fear
JOK: 1167
Discover the link between courtesy and extortion. Learn to talk about widespread panic, formidable talent, and possible accidents. Find out how to make requests sound timid, not pushy. See how one term means everything from 'Sorry, but can you ...' to 'I'm impressed!' to 'Thank you'! And learn about the 恐 associated with dinosaurs, moas, おそらく, and かしこ (in women's letters).
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